Updated 6:40 p.m. Eastern with comments from Elon Musk.
WASHINGTON — Less than a week after laying off 10 percent of its employees, SpaceX said Jan. 16 that it plans to shift production of its next-generation launch system from Los Angeles to Texas.
In a statement, SpaceX said it was now planning to build its Starship vehicle, the upper stage of its next-generation reusable launch system, at its site in South Texas originally planned to serve as a launch site. A prototype version of that vehicle has been taking shape in recent weeks at the site in advance of “hopper” tests that could begin in the next one to two months.
“To streamline operations, SpaceX is developing and will test the Starship test vehicle at our site in South Texas,” company spokesperson Eva Behrend said in an emailed statement. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times after a pair of tweets early Jan. 16 from Joe Buscaino, a member of the Los Angeles City Council whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles.
“While I feel crushed about #SpaceX pulling the #SuperHeavy out of the @PortofLA, I feel confident that other innovators will see the huge value ...